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The MA Directing Programme offers students a unique opportunity to develop the necessary skills and techniques for careers in a fast-evolving media landscape. Through an investigation of directing principles, including planning and leading a shoot, visual storytelling, working with actors, principles of screenplay analysis, project pitching, students will hone professional skills and develop their creative voice towards a final original piece of content for the big screen, the small screen, or even multiple screens.
This programme is for students who are passionate about the moving image, love to work with actors and on set, and have the ambition to become professional directors.
Our outstanding academic credentials are recognised by leading higher education bodies such as CILECT and the QAA. This course is industry recognised by ScreenSkills, the industry-led skills body for the UK’s screen-based industries and carries the ScreenSkills Select quality-mark which indicates courses best suited to prepare students for a career in the screen industries.
The MA Directing course equips students with a comprehensive skillset to work across all screen platforms – film, TV, commercials and online. Students will work on a unique industry project that will give real-life experience with external clients.
- Practical. Through hands-on practical exercises, workshops, seminars, masterclasses and screenings, students will gain the practical skills required and knowledge required to work as a director. Students will work with professional actors, shoot on location and participate in moving camera exercises with MetFilm School students on other programmes of study.
- Teamwork. Work collaboratively with students on the other MA programmes as part of a creative crew to mirror industry practice. Experience what it takes to deliver the project from start to finish, and develop student’s communication, negotiation, and project management skills.
- Real-Life Experience. Learn the importance of working to a creative brief as a director while doing a project for an external company. Our students have worked with companies like Nespresso, Stonewall UK, Time Out, Fender Guitars, DHL, HM Treasury, Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube and many others.
- Industry-Facing. Learn from the best industry professionals, including Directors, Cinematographers, Casting Directors, Location Managers and Production Designers. Recent Masterclasses at the School include Oscar-winning directors: Amma Assante, Lenny Abramson, Gurinder Chada, Sarah Gavron, James Marsh, and Pawel Pawlikowski.
- Portfolio. Students have the opportunity to undertake up to seven directing exercises including a short form project for an external industry client and a final Master’s Project.
- Screen Induction Lab. A combined learning experience across all five programmes covering key aspects of the filmmaking process, this module explores the life cycle of a screen content from conception to delivery. Through seminars and practical workshops, students will also engage with critical analysis of key theoretical and conceptual frameworks, and explore cultural, historical, ethical and aesthetic perspectives on filmmaking.
- Directing Boot Camp. An immersive module that covers the key creative and technical skills that anchor the director’s craft and provide the foundation for more advanced techniques. Through seminars and practical workshops students will explore the working life of a director, the fundamentals of dramaturgy and narrative construction, mise-en-scène, visual storytelling and directing actors.
- The Actor and the Story. An exploration of the way that stories function and the relationship between director, actor and script. Through seminars, workshops and a series of practical exercises with professional actors, students will further their understanding of the actor’s craft and learn more about how to elicit engaging and truthful performances. Topics covered include improvisation, script analysis and preparation, casting and rehearsal techniques.
- Director’s Craft and Creative Collaboration. An overview of the director’s role on and off set, which synthesizes knowledge and skills gained from the previous modules towards understanding the director’s collaborative role within the wider screen industries. At the heart of their learning is the Industry Project where directing students will work collaboratively with students from other pathways to deliver an integrated Industry Project, to a professional brief.
- Advanced Visual Storytelling. A module designed to give students the opportunity to experiment, to push themselves, in order to enhance their understanding of visual storytelling, while focusing their ideas for the Master’s Project. Through seminars, tutorials and practical exercises, students are encouraged to explore every aspect of non-verbal storytelling and how directors use it to achieve specificity and clarity, including: camera movement, choice of lens, location or set design, editing, music and sound design.
- Research in Screen Practice.This module is delivered in a ‘long and thin’ delivery pattern comprising three hours per week. During this module students from all five programmes will explore key research methods including: defining problems, identifying areas of academic enquiry, formulating hypotheses, collecting, organising and evaluating data; developing and accessing conclusions as well as theoretical frameworks and discourse related to their practice.
- Master’s Project. This is a largely self-directed module during which students will work under the guidance of a Project Advisor towards the development of a final filmed project directed by the student.
We have a range of permanent and contract tutors who teach across all of our courses. Check our Tutors page to find out more.
Dates & Prices
- 26 September 2022 — 20 October 2023
Course fees include:
Tuition, production equipment and support, first aid and health & safety training, production and post-production facilities, access to industry masterclasses and networking.
Duration: One Year, Full-Time
You might be eligible for a postgraduate loan. Find out more.
-Voices That Matter Scholarship 2022. Find out more.
*Subject to annual price review
YOUR SUCCESS IS OUR PRIORITY
From the very first day at MetFilm School, we concentrate on employability. Students and graduates of MetFilm School will gain access to our dedicated careers advice department MetFilm Futures, who focus on supporting you and ensuring you develop the skills needed to succeed in the industry.
MetFilm Production, our sister production company, offers 3-4 in house work experience placements per year for MetFilm School graduates. Selected graduates work in a variety of capacities on all of MetFilm Production’s films such as award-winning The Reason I Jump, 23 Walks and Swimming with Men.
Our graduates work across the industry as Directors, Producers, Screenwriters, Camera Assistants, DOPs, Editors, VFX Artists, TV Assistant Producers, Script Editors, On-Air Producers, Campaign Managers and many more besides. Below are just some of the companies they’ve gone onto work for.
We proudly present some of the course graduates’ works. These projects will give you an idea of what you should be able to produce by the end of the course.
- Based in the world-famous Ealing Studios. MetFilm School is based within Ealing Studios, along with numerous other companies and businesses. Our location creates a great screen industry context for the School but does not bring access to shoots or other studio activities. Watch our London Campus Tour
- Occasionally opportunities do arise for our students which are advertised through our career’s advice department, MetFilm Futures. MetFilm School does have its own studio space; Stage 5 – which is mostly used by those studying on our MA Cinematography course. It is also accessible on a case-by-case basis to students shooting films and other kinds of project but has to be booked in advance.
- Award-winning tutors. MetFilm School’s tutors are working screen professionals – TV and film directors, producers, screenwriters, editors, animators and other industry specialists with numerous awards, including BAFTA, Emmy and Oscar nominations.
- Connected. Through working closely with our sister companies MetFilm Production and MetFilm Sales, we better integrate our students into the world of creative media. These provide our students with work placements, graduate employment and master classes with industry professionals.
- Recognised quality. Our outstanding academic credentials are recognised by leading higher education bodies such as CILECT, Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and ScreenSkills Select.